Microsoft has just released a public beta of its Socl social network project, allowing all users to give a spin to the new service by simply signing in with a Facebook or Microsoft account.
While some could think that Socl may be a rival for popular social networks such as Facebook, Microsoft claims this is not the case, as its own service is a mix of social networking tools and search features.
The project initially saw daylight in December 2011, but the platform has received several major changes, including a new GUI that reminds of the newly-released Windows 8.
The front page has been redesigned to show all posts, with dedicated layout options that allow you to view content on two or three columns. What’s more, you can see the posts without signing in to Socl, Microsoft explains.
Just like the other social networks out there, Socl comes with a “me page” that shows personal information, such as interests and friends. Last but not least, you can “create a playlist and watch videos with others in Socl, and chat together as you watch.”
“As you may know, Socl began as an experiment in social search for students and learning. Over the past several months, we’ve watched Socl evolve into a place where people connect over shared interests expressed through beautiful post collages,” Microsoft explained in a blog post.
“We appreciate your continued feedback which is helping us to gain more insight every day and improve how we can all communicate, learn and share our everyday lives. We’ve been busy redesigning Socl to match how you’re using it, and starting today, we’d like you to give the new Socl a spin.”
As said, anyone can give Socl a spin, as you only need a Facebook or a Microsoft account. The service is still in beta, but Microsoft would most likely release the final version in 2013.